Any way to have DE and Deep Litter Method in run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mike592, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Mike592

    Mike592 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2013
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    Hi everyone, I'm building my first coop now.

    I'd like to use the deep litter method in the run. Using mostly dry leaves, but also some other litter materials. I've read I then don't want to use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) because along with killing any bird parasites, it will kill off the good stuff in the deep litter that is composting everything.

    BUT - what if I built a box in the corner of the run and filled it with sand for a dust bath, and only put some DE in there.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. CherishHolland

    CherishHolland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you go with the building them a dust bath route I would add DE to the dust bath mixture. Where ever my flock dust bathes at is where I add the DE.
     
  3. Mike592

    Mike592 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2013
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    Thanks. But do you know if having a little from the Dust Bath Box spilling out won't contaminate the rest of my deep litter composting?
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is your source on DE being bad for composting? What "good stuff" are they saying it kills? DE does kill insects and works most effectively on bugs with exoskeletons. It can kill mollusks and worms but is not really super great at it. It works by being very microscopically abrasive which cuts up the exoskeletons and also by absorbing moisture which basically drys up the bugs insides.

    The way I understand the process, this would not effect composting. If you are hoping to have worms as part of your deep litter it may kill them but your chickens will likely eat them before a little DE spillage can kill them.

    I do not deep litter but I do put my DE tossed pine shaves into my general compost bins and have never had a problem with them breaking down. I do keep them away from my red worm bins to be safe.

    I would be interested in reading your source as I have not heard that before and wonder if there is something I do not know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mike592

    Mike592 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey Dino, here is one such post and I've read many other accounts:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...year-with-deep-litter-method/20#post_10931808

    Basically that the DE is so good at killing small parasites, it works the same on the small critters and other organisms necessary for composting.

    I'm wondering if I have a 8'x12' run using deep litter composting method, if having a 2x2 dust bath box in one corner with sand and DE would be bad news. I'm new to this, so I'm not sure how far the chickens will fling the sand mixture into the rest of the run.
     
  6. CherishHolland

    CherishHolland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could try wood ash in the dust bath if you are extremely worried. In our coop I use the DLM and DE in the dust bath the amount of DE being brought into the coop from their bathing isn't enough for me to worry,my chickens generally do the shake off after they enjoyed a roll in the dirt.
     
  7. Rnbwbrite1207

    Rnbwbrite1207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use DE in my coop with pine shavings. When the coop gets yucky the whole bunch goes into the deep litter in the run along with grass clippings, leaves, and compost able kitchen refuse. I have never had a problem with the litter breaking down. I think proportion is key. You wouldn't want a ton of DE but some won't be a problem, in my experience.
     

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